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Quick News №15

Monday, July 12, 2021

The number at the beginning of each Quick News is the number of weeks we meet on Mondays to have news run, walk or crawl. Stopping wasn’t part of our plan! Let’s go.

Startup Jedi

We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.

Let’s start straight away with conquering heights. Crunchbase has tallied the totals for the first six months of this year, and they have been as impressive as possible. Indicating $288B in invested funds — by comparison, it never rose above the figure of $200B. What else is on the horizon! Read on, it is an interesting study.

Other peaks are being conquered by startups. Netskope, a cloud-based cybersecurity project, raised $300M at a valuation of $7.5B, leading the ICONIQ Growth round. Meanwhile, the previous round was six months ago, in February, and then the valuation was more than half that, $3B. What a year of record valuations indeed!

FinTech startup Zerion, a trading service, also closed the new round having raised $8.2M. The lead investor was the European fund Mosaic Ventures. Startup founders are from Ukraine and Russia. The decentralized finance platform (DeFi) does not hold the funds of its users, of which there are already more than 200 000, but it does allow you to exchange tokens, place your funds at interest or borrow stable coins.

On Friday, we reported on the triumph of casual game developers from Eastern Europe. The success continues as mobile game developer Green Grey has launched a new stage of casual games, NPU Games. The startup has invested $800 000 in the studio, which will go towards the launch of the first pilot game.

Another interesting launch took place at Yandex. The corporation has made it possible for companies to create branded voices using its Yandex SpeechKit Brand Voice service. The development exists on the basis of artificial intelligence and speech ML models, creating a digital copy of the voice in the output. The latter can be used for outgoing calls with customers, automating call centres and designing voice assistants.

Finally, some interesting possibilities. Group invites product managers — with their own project or responsible for a particular product in the company — to the MADE Product Managers Academy. There, a free two-month educational online programme will start on July 30, where you can pump up your skills with experienced mentors. Apply by 25 July to take part in the selection process.

Have a productive week!



12 Jul 2021


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